Pandemic: A survival lesson or a test of leadership skills

Pandemic: A survival lesson or a test of leadership skills

The beginning of the pandemic was a huge challenge for the managers. For us, it was a real test of the ability to manage people in extraordinary circumstances, mental toughness, decision-making flexibility, but also an exam of empathy, resourcefulness, and readiness to take risks.


Our companies were subjected to a forced test, and we – the managers – faced the challenge of managing a company in a crisis that has never been before. We had to prove not only to others, but also to ourselves, that we are managers who can be leaders in conditions of extraordinary circumstances for which no one prepared us to be

We have been put under both professional and private pressure – this crisis has affected all spheres of our daily lives. It turned out that in addition to professional life, it was necessary to control the nervous and uncomfortable situation affecting our loved ones. Gone are the days when we left home matters outside the door when we went to work in the morning. The crisis was ubiquitous and all-encompassing. That is why people, our employees, as teams and as individuals, became the most important thing for every wise manager. They all had loved ones they feared for, so we were all succumbing to a global psychosis of the potential end of the world.

During these years, we had the opportunity to check what our relations with employees are like, whether they trust us, whether they will go through a crisis with us, whether they are ready for changes and concessions. It was necessary to show calmness and self-control and to “infect” our professional environment in the right way. If over the years we have been building a team that felt safe and secure in our company, this approach paid off during the pandemic. Thanks to it, communication during the pandemic with our employees was simpler and still effective. It is obvious that it is easier to gain understanding for our decisions or introduced changes if we previously enjoyed the trust and support of the team.

The pandemic, like nothing before, accelerated or even forced us to decide to implement new procedures in the company. It was no longer months, weeks or days, but hours. This showed how efficiently we operate and how our system of work allows us to introduce quick changes. I often wonder if it was trust in us that allowed employees to efficiently implement the process and accept the new reality, while still effectively performing their tasks and duties. I am of the opinion that the success was achieved mainly by those of us who previously knew how important it is to hire the most loyal and dedicated employees and build strong, harmonious teams with them. Integration of employees with the company and the management board gave a huge amount of faith in the decisions of direct superiors.

Thanks to this, we had a chance to see what our company is like, whether it is resistant to the impact of the crisis, whether our ship will sail through the rough sea. These years have shown how strong a company we manage, who we have hired and how we can find ourselves in a difficult situation. We could not only observe what was happening in our company, but also in other companies. That is why these years became another business school – we could experience successes and failures ourselves, but also learn a lot from the mistakes of others. The pandemic allowed us to realize and show how, as one strong team, we act by uniting forces not only in our company, but also with other entities on the market.

This period of the pandemic and just after is also a test of ourselves as bosses. How much nerves this situation cost us, how quickly we were able to make decisions and react adequately. Of course, the more seasoned manager, with more experience, with leadership skills, looking optimistically into the future, the better solutions, the more verve and good decisions. And that means that since we managed to persevere, we are ready for further development.